This is how many speeding tickets were issued in the the first year of A19 Testo's roadworks

New figures reveal that thousands of speeding tickets were issued in the first year since enforcement cameras were switched on as part of a major roadworks scheme.

New figures reveal that thousands of speeding tickets have been issued since enforcement cameras were switch on within the A19 Testo's Roundabout roadworks.
New figures reveal that thousands of speeding tickets have been issued since enforcement cameras were switch on within the A19 Testo's Roundabout roadworks.

Answers released following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request reveal that reduced driving limits on the A19, near Testo’s Roundabout, were illegally flouted 13,755 times between September 1, 2019, and the end of this August.

This equates to more than 1,146 offences a month, 264 a week and 37 a day.

With road limits largely restricted to 40 miles per hour and 50 miles per hour since work began, the top five speeds recorded range between 83 miles per hour and 85 miles per hour.

Average speed cameras on the A19, near Testo's roundabout, were switched on on September 2019 after the dual carriageway's 70 mile per hour limit was reduced to as low as 40 miles per hour to enable workers to begin constructing a new flyover over the roundabout.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We are committed to making our roads as safe as possible for all users.

“Speed limits are in place for a reason and speed cameras are just one of the many deterrents we use to ensure motorists are not driving above the limit.

"The presence of a speed camera, whether that is a mobile van or a stationary camera, deters speeding and helps improve road safety across our force area.

“Statistics show that drivers travelling at excess speed is one of the major contributory factors in serious and fatal road traffic collisions and we will continue to actively enforce speed limits across our force area when it is appropriate to do so.”

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A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by this paper and website to Northumbria Police shows that nearly 14,000 speeding tickets were issued in the first year since the cameras were switched on.

Speed cameras are operated on behalf of Northumbria Police and the area’s local authorities by the Northumbria Safer Roads Initiative partnership.

They were installed on the A19 – where the speed limit is normally 70 miles per hour - to ensure road safety during the construction of a £159.4million flyover to replace the existing roundabout, which is close to the Sunderland and South Tyneside border, by 2021.

The FOI figures released by Northumbria Police show that 10,653 cars were caught speeding northbound towards the Tyne Tunnel and another 3,102 exceeded the limit while heading south along the dual carriageway towards Teesside.

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While the request confirmed that all revenue goes to the Treasury, figures for how much money has been generated are not yet available.

Among drivers to receive them was South Tyneside motorist Victoria Forshaw, 44, who escaped a driving ban - despite being caught by the cameras eight times - on the grounds that disqualification would prevent her from looking after an elderly relative.

Motorists caught speeding are usually issued with a fixed penalty notice and face £100 fines with three penalty points added to their licences.

Yet some get the option of avoiding points by paying a similar sum to take a speed awareness course.

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Others, including those who have committed multiple offences or who are close to a ban because of previous driving misdemeanours, will have their cases heard in court.

Jason Deen, 48, of Bishopton Road West, Stockton, was disqualified from the road for six months by South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court earlier this year after admitting speeding through the roadworks four times in the first eight days after the cameras went live.

As well as speed restrictions, motorists have also faced regular weekend diversions while work continues.

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Forshaw, who received 27 points after also admitting speeding once on the A690, avoided disqualification after the same court learned that it would prevent her from looking after her 90-year-old grandfather.

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Read more: Testo’s flyover latest as scheme reaches huge milestone

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A Highways Agency photograph of ongoing work on the new Testo's flyover. The £124.5m project is due to finish in 2021.

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